Dutch Oven Whole Chicken with Meyer Lemon is a show-stopping roasted chicken and the perfect centerpiece for a weeknight meal or family gathering. The whole chicken is cooked in one pot and has crispy skin, juicy meat, and a bright and herby citrus flavor. It only requires a few minutes of prep to make this succulent cozy chicken recipe.
You will wow your friends and family with this beautiful roasted chicken! Its bright flavors and Amaze your friends and family with this beautiful dutch oven chicken! Its bright flavors and fragrant herbs pay homage to California and its abundance of fresh produce. It smells and tastes of fragrant rosemary and thyme and zesty meyer lemon. Roasting it in a dutch oven allows for the skin to get crispy and golden and the meat to stay juicy. Serve this golden roasted chicken on a serving plate with rosemary and lemon for added garnish.
- Whole roast chicken - the skin and bones of a whole chicken results in a lot of rich flavors. Choose organic and free-range for even better flavor and to support cleaner, better farming practices.
- Meyer lemon or regular lemon - adds a yummy citrus flavor to the meat and makes for a beautiful garnish.
- Butter - locks in the moisture and makes the skin golden and extra crispy.
- Rosemary - subtle, savory flavor that helps bring out the flavors of the dish.
- Sage - adds a subtle mint, eucalyptus, and lemon profile.
- Thyme - adds a sharp and peppery flavor that blends well with the other aromatics.
- Onion - an aromatic that enhances the other flavors.
- Kosher salt - a coarse salt that penetrates through the meat to make it tender and flavorful.
- Pepper - freshly cracked to add spice.
Prepare the chicken - Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Take the chicken and remove the giblets then pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Stuff the chicken - Stuff the chicken with the sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Next, place the chicken inside of the dutch oven.
Make the butter and herb mixture - In a bowl, mix lemon juice, butter, chopped sage, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, and cracked pepper. Brush the chicken with the butter and herb mixture, covering the entire top and sides of the chicken. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the leftover lemon and onion. Truss the chicken legs by tying them together with baker’s twine. If you don’t have baker’s twine, you can skip the trussing.
Cook the chicken - Place the lid on the dutch oven and cook the chicken in the oven for 1 hour. Remove dutch oven lid and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and crispy. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.
Hint: If you prefer the chicken to be more juicy than crispy, cook the chicken with the lid on for more time and cook the chicken without the lid for less time. For example, you can cook the chicken with the lid on for 70 minutes then without the lid for 10 minutes.
- Regular lemon - Substitute the meyer lemons with regular lemons. Regular lemons are easier to access than meyer lemons and the taste is very similar.
- Shallot - Use shallots instead of onion. It has a milder taste that some people prefer.
- Orange - Use an orange instead of a lemon for a fragrant and different citrus taste.
- Garlic Roasted Chicken - Rub garlic powder over the chicken before cooking it in the oven. To make the chicken extra garlicky, take a bulb of garlic and chop a half inch off of the top. Then, stuff the garlic bulb in the chicken cavity.
- Spicy - Add paprika to the butter and herb mixture for extra kick.
- Wild Rice Stuffed Roasted Chicken - Stuff the chicken with wild rice to make a roasted chicken that is both flavorful and hearty.
To make this roast chicken recipe, you will need basic kitchen equipment, including a dutch oven, knife, cutting board, and mixing bowl.To explore more kitchen items to make your kitchen complete, head to our Kitchen Essentials Shop.
The way you store leftover chicken will depend on how much leftover chicken you have. If you need to store most of the chicken, store it in the fridge in the covered dutch oven to lock in the moisture. Alternatively, carve the chicken and store in air-tight containers with the juices. Store the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat the chicken, slice it, put it on a baking dish or baking sheet, and reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
What to do with Leftover Chicken
- Meal Prep - Not only is this roast chicken recipe easy, it often has a lot of leftovers which makes it a great meal prep recipe for busy weeks.
- Make a sandwich - Slice the leftover chicken and make a sandwich. You can make my Turkey and Swiss SlidersLINK, just use the rotisserie chicken instead of ground turkey.
- Make chicken stock - You can use the bones of the chicken and the onion to make a homemade chicken stock, which you can then freeze and use for soups in the future.
Make sure the chicken is completely defrosted before you begin preparing it. If the chicken is too cold, the meat will get tough when you cook it due to the temperature change.
Why Buy a Whole Chicken
One reason to buy a whole roast chicken is that it’s cheaper per pound than buying chicken pieces. Additionally, the bones and skin create a superior flavor to boneless, skinless chicken. After all of the meat is eaten, boil the leftover chicken carcass in a pot of water with carrots, onion, and herbs to make chicken stock for other recipes.
Choosing a Whole Chicken
Buy a whole roast chicken at most grocery stores, butchers, or farmers markets. Organic, free-range chicken often has the best flavor because the chickens are given free range to eat omega-rich critters in the grass. Additionally, the process in which the animals are raised is cleaner and more humane.
How to Make Tender and Moist Chicken
Use a large dutch oven, like this Staub 5.75-Qt Coq Au Vin Cocotte, to roast a tender, moist whole chicken. The dutch oven locks in all of the moisture in the chicken resulting in juicy, flavorful meat. Once you remove the lid from the cocotte, the chicken cooks in its juices while the skin turns golden.
The olive oil and butter locks in all of the herbs and juices as the chicken cooks. Softened butter is pliable and can be easily spread onto the chicken compared to cold butter. One way to keep butter soft is to leave it out before adding it to the chicken or store your butter in a butter keeper, like this French Kitchen Marble Butter Keeper or this Stoneware Butter Keeper. Finally, salt penetrates through the meat and seasons the chicken through and through making the meat tender and flavorful.
Dutch Oven versus Slow Cooker
Roasted chicken is best cooked in a dutch oven or roasting pan. This method is superior to using a slow cooker or crock pot for two main reasons:
- Slow cookers do not reduce liquid - While slow cookers are convenient, they do not reduce liquid well. In comparison, a cast-iron dutch oven cooks evenly and reduces the chicken juices, resulting in rich, concentrated flavor.
- Slow cookers do not brown - Slow cookers only cook slowly, they do not brown or add any variation in texture like a standard dutch oven does. In contrast, cooking a whole chicken in a dutch oven without a lid results in juicy, tender meat and crispy, golden skin.
What to Serve with Dutch Oven Whole Chicken with Meyer Lemon
If you want to make this roast chicken recipe for a Thanksgiving meal, check out these sides recipes: Miso Mashed Potatoes with Miso Butter, Harvest Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Maple Roasted Kabocha, Sautéed Green Beans with Furikake, and Sautéed Mushrooms with White Wine.Print
Dutch Oven Whole Chicken with Meyer Lemon is a show-stopping, flavor-packed dish. Its quintessential California flavors include farm-fresh, Meyer lemon, and organic free-range chicken.
- 1 5 lb whole roasting chicken
- 1 Meyer lemon, juiced
- 1 lemon, sliced for garnish
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 2–3 sprigs thyme
- 2–3 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 small onion
- Kosher salt
- Pepper, freshly cracked
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Take the chicken and remove the giblets. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Stuff the chicken with the sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Place the chicken inside of the dutch oven.
In a bowl, mix lemon juice, butter, chopped sage, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, and cracked pepper. Brush the chicken with the butter-herb mixture, covering the entire top and sides of the chicken. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the leftover lemon and onion. Truss the chicken legs by tying them together with baker’s twine.
Place the lid on the dutch oven and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove dutch oven lid and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and crispy. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Place on a serving platter with sprigs of rosemary and slices of lemon for garnish.
Keywords: roasted chicken, lemon chicken, healthy chicken, holiday dinner, easy dinner, thanksgiving, Christmas
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove